Terminal automation is a full or partial substitution of terminal operations through automated equipment and processes. Depending on how automation is defined, it is already present in many terminals, at least in its simplest form using information technologies (ITs) to manage terminal assets and supplement human activity.
Automation processes often result in two major types of automated terminals. A fully automated terminal uses a computer–IT-led system to handle a container from dockside to the pickup area through remotely operated ship-to-shore cranes, automated stacking cranes in the yard, and automated horizontal transfer vehicles. By contrast, a semiautomated terminal involves just the automated stacking of equipment in the yard.
PortEconomics members Jean-Paul Rodrigue and Theo Notteboom write on the July-August 2021 issue of TR News about the automation in container port systems and management and their interesting viewpoint can be downloaded here.